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charges, the salaries of the Lieutenant-Governor and the judges, the charges in respect of customs, post-office, protection of fisheries, militia, lighthouses, shipwrecked crews, quarantine, marine hospitals, the geological survey, and the penitentiary. (5) That the Dominion Government should assume the railway then being built.


In 1876 an act was passed by the Dominion Parliament erecting into a separate government under the name of the District of Keewatin the portion of the North West Territories lying to the north of Manitoba. The district contains about 395,000 acres, and is principally occupied by Icelandic colonists.


The Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba is ex officio Lieu- Administenant-Governor of Keewatin. He is assisted in the administration of the district by a council of not more than ten and not less than five members appointed by the GovernorGeneral in Council. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council has such legislative powers as are conferred by the GovernorGeneral in Council, and the Governor-General in Council has the balance of legislative power, but no law can be passed either by the Governor-General in Council or by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council which

(a) is inconsistent with any Dominion Act applying to
the District,

(b) imposes any tax or any duty of customs or excise or
any penalty exceeding 100 dollars,

(c) alters or repeals the punishment provided in any Act
in force in the District, or

(d) appropriates any public money, lands or property of
Canada without the authority of Parliament.
Copies of all laws passed by the Lieutenant-Governor in

Steps towards

a federal


Council require to be transmitted to the Governor in Council who may disallow any law within two years of its passing'.


The North West Territories comprise all lands not within the limits of any province or of the District of Keewatin. The area of the Territories is about 3,000,000 square miles or four times as great as the area of all the provinces together. The Territories were ceded to Canada by an Order in Council dated the 24th June 1870' under the authority of the 146th section of the B. N. A. Act, 1867. The southern portion of the territories between Manitoba and British Columbia has been formed into four provisional districts, viz. Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Athabasca. By the Dominion Act 38 Vic. c. 49 executive and legislative powers were conferred on a Lieutenant-Governor and a Council of five members subject to instructions given by Order in Council or by the Canadian Secretary of State. Provision was made for the election of representatives to the Council by districts having a population of 1000 adults, and owing to the increase in population there are now 14 elected members. When the number of elected members reaches 21, the Council is to cease and the members are to constitute a legislative Assembly. The Acts relating to the government of the Territories have been consolidated and form c. 50 of the Revised Statutes of Canada.


A federal union of the British North American Colonies had been a favourite scheme with many Colonial statesmen and on several occasions was discussed by some of the legis latures.

1 See The Keewatin Act, R. S. C., 49 Vic. c. 53.
2 See Appendix.

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of Nova

The honour of taking a decided step towards such a Initiative union belongs to the legislature of Nova Scotia. In 1861 a Scotia. resolution favourable to a union was passed by that legislature and transmitted to the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, who in turn forwarded it to the GovernorGeneral and the Lieutenant-Governors of the provinces. The Lieutenant-Governors brought the subject before their respective legislatures; and the legislatures of the maritime provinces passed a resolution authorizing the respective Lieutenant-Governors to appoint delegates not exceeding five to confer with delegates of the other provinces “for the purpose of discussing the expediency of a union of the three provinces under one government and legislature." Delegates were appointed and it was arranged that the conference should meet on the 1st September at Charlottetown.

town Con

Before the Conference met a coalition government was formed in the Province of Canada pledged to a union of the provinces, and the Government at once asked for and obtained permission to send delegates to the Charlottetown Conference, Charlottewho however were not authorized to consider the ques- ference. tion of a legislative union. The proposal to unite the maritime provinces was deemed impracticable, but the delegates were unanimously of opinion that a union on a wider basis was possible and the Canadian delegates proposed that with the consent of the provinces a further conference should be held at Quebec. The proposal was adopted and the Conference ended.


The Quebec Conference met on the 10th October. Twelve Quebec delegates were present from Canada, seven from New Brunswick, five from Nova Scotia, seven from Prince Edward's Island and two from Newfoundland.

The Conference sat for eighteen days and the result of its deliberations was the celebrated "Seventy-two" resolutions on which the Act of Union was afterwards based. Each delegation undertook to submit the resolutions to its own.








government, and pledged itself to use every legitimate means
to ensure the adoption of the scheme by its legislature.

The Canadian legislature met in January 1865, and after a debate of a fortnight's duration the resolutions were adopted in the Council by a vote of 45 to 15. The debate in the Assembly lasted for five weeks, but the resolutions were adopted by 91 to 33.

In New Brunswick the general election of 1865 resulted in the return of an Assembly hostile to the scheme: but in the following year the Legislative Council declared for the Union. The Ministry resigned, a general election followed, and the new Assembly on the 30th June declared in favour of confederation.

In Nova Scotia the Quebec Resolutions were brought before the Assembly in 1866 and were approved by a vote of 31 to 15.

In Newfoundland the Governor introduced the subject in the legislature at the opening of the session in January 1866. On the 8th March the Assembly after sitting in committee for several days adopted the following resolution:

"That whilst duly regardful of the momentous character of the subject and of the promise to his Excellency to give it attention, yet, as no information has been received demanding its immediate reconsideration, the House does not deem it expedient to enter upon its discussion with a view to any decision thereon."

In Prince Edward's Island the scheme was not received with favour and several years elapsed after the Union was accomplished before the Island joined the Dominion.


A sufficient number of provinces, viz. Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, had by 1866 declared for union and in that year delegates were appointed to settle the details and to determine the precise character of the Imperial Act necessary to carry the union into effect. The delegates met in London in December 1866, under the presidency of Hon. John A. Macdonald, and on the 7th February 1867 Lord Union Carnarvon introduced the Bill "for the Union of Canada, Nova Act of Scotia and New Brunswick and the government thereof: and for purposes connected therewith." The measure received the support of all parties and was read a third time in the House of Lords on the 26th of February. On the 8th March it passed through the House of Commons and on the 29th of that month received the Royal assent.


The Act authorized Her Majesty in Council to declare by proclamation that on and after a certain day the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick should form one Dominion under the name of Canada. The necessary proclamation was issued on the 22nd of May and the 1st of July was fixed as the day from which the Union should take effect.

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